Last picture in my series

I suppose this is about 1985. Sandy doesn’t look good, but the children do. This is no accident. Whatever happened to her was second to her children. The stresses in her life were building up, and probably are related to her death. Her marriage was over, the serious stress related to the health issues and multiple hospitalisations of Kim, and more, were beginning to have a visible effect. I was in Sri Lanka most of the time between 86-91, but I was sending my children to school on Vancouver Island in BC Canada, and during their holidays they would drop down to Bend, Oregon, to be with her.

Sandy left California with a man that her daughter hated and moved to Oregon. How did she end up with Rich? I suppose he was kind of an escape. I knew of her problems with his behaviour, but I also knew that during the move to Oregon she depended on him to help with Daren and the move. She needed him for that.  And, Daren must have picked up from Rich his life’s profession and love of nature in Oregon. I wonder if Daren also picked up his Republicanism from Rich– can’t really say. I gave Rich credit for his help, and so did my sister. But that definitely put me a odds with Kim, and threw me in the enemy’s camp. The fact is, I hardly knew Rich, and I  recognised him for his role with Sandy, believing that Sandy was in control and making her choices. That was good enough for me.

When I have more time, I’ll insert some of her thoughts when she discovered at my dad’s house that she had terminal cancer and not much time to live.

My final time with Sandy is when she visited the Netherlands and France, and the wedding of John. This was a tough time for Sandy, she knew she was dying, but she was going to put forth the effort to be at the wedding. Lack of will power is not a family problem. We must give to our difficult mother some of the credit for that strength.

Before that her arrival in the Netherlands, I had been in touch with John since his arrival in Amsterdam in the summer of 1993. In 1993 we travelled to the states to be at a “family reunion” at my mother’s place in Colorado. Sandy told me to be sure that our correspondence didn’t fall into the hands of our mother. My mother was known for checking around for information during her visits.

But back to her trip to the Netherlands in May 1995. Of course, there was the wedding and Haarlem as well as to some of the famous places in the Netherlands, and a trip to France and Belgium. I attended the wedding dinner, a formal affair, and she asked me to help her. She asked me to speak for her, because she couldn’t do it. It was my honour to do so.

After the trip to the Netherlands, she went to California to be at Kim’s graduation. She also writes and tells me about Daren and Thia. Not much question that she has her thoughts focussed on her children as her life slowly begins its inexorable and sad march to the transition. I don’t believe in death; I believe she is alive and well in another dimension or “world of God” as Bahá’í say.  I received letters in July, giving news, and saying that things were going well. But she only had a few weeks to live.

Until the letter of 6 August 1995. News of a brain tumor, steroids affecting her concentration, cracked femur, radiation. Kim was with her and, her comment: “She has never seen her mom so weepy.”

By mid-August Sandy had to focus on priorities. In her last letter on 6 August, she said “I’m having a more difficult time dealing with the cancer this time around because the reality that it is spreading is real….. Love, Sandy”

She died on 30 August.






Kid’s growing, all into sports. Sandy looks tired. I’d have to go back to old letters to see when her martial problems started, but by her eyes here, I would say they were already happening. Or it may be that Kim’s health problems started.

In those days, letters were written on paper. I heard a lot about her struggles. We were always close, and always shared our intimate thoughts.

Sandy is 37 years old.


approx 1977

Daren arrives in 1974. Full house.


Time for John to arrive, the California life. Sunshine, eternal happiness, success.


Kim at the beach, 9 months old. With my sister, the new mother. I probably will end the timeline here, and pass it to her children. I’ll add a few more stories and quit.

Arrival of Kim

Visit to Ventura County by my mom and Scott after the birth of Kim, and a return visit to  McLean in 1970.

I started University studies in Norfolk, Virginia in the fall of 1969 so could not have joined.

In 1970, the picture around the table in McLean would be just prior to my “easy rider” period. This idea resulted from my first year of University.

I quit school in 1970 after my year in Norfolk which was mostly about experimentation, with ideas, with social activism, with religion (mostly Buddhist thought, meditation classes, psychedelic drugs). I consciously sought and achieved (or still believe I achieved) what was called, “astral projections”, out-of-body-experiences. People often experience this state when involved in a near death experience.

I discussed with Sandy my imminent departure to see the world by motorcycle and find myself, and that I had become Bahá’í. We would next meet in Oxnard, nearly a year later, after my adventure.


Bob Weich and leaving the nest

Sandy when to a community collage in Bellville Illinois. I seem to remember that she also spent some time at the University of Missouri. I need to go through some of my old files. She started dating her husband-to-be, Bob Weich, when she was living in O’Fallon. I remember times with Bob, but what I remember most is that, when Bob dropped Sandy off at home, they would sit in the car in front of the house. Of course, my mother was watching. When Sandy arrived in the door and the car pulled away, my mother would slap Sandy repeatedly and say nasty things about what they were doing in the car. I remember repeated events of this kind, they woke me, and were tramatic, which is why they stand out in my memory. Well, actually, I also remember my mother repeatedly slapping my father too, and Sandy gathering me up with Scott to move us to another part of the house so that we did not witness what was happening. Except for the last big fight between my mother and father, when we saw it all from the next room (we couldn’t escape it).

Here you see Sandy alive and happy. She didn’t take to heart the behaviour of my mother, but I think she never forgot it either. They fought constantly through her entire life, but it did not weaken her. In fact, my mother’s strength, which she used and abused, made all of her children strong.

Here you see Bobby, what to say. Bored again. And Bob Weich; this is a very typical face for Bob Weich. I saw it over and over again through the coming years.

18th birthday in O’Fallon

We moved to O’Fallon Illinois in 1962. Scott and I were at the local grade school (5-8th grade for me), Bob at the O’Fallon HS where he graduated. O’Fallon was incorporated as a village in 1874.  The Community Park was established in 1924; it was the center of my life and where I played football and baseball on local teams.   Scott Air Force Base, founded in 1917, was close to O’Fallon, where my father worked. From a hill in O’Fallon, we could watch the construction and completion of the “Gateway Arch” in St. Louis. The population was 3000 at that time, and it was surrounded by corn fields. We kids would collect corn cobs, shell the corn, and then throw handfuls at the aluminium siding of the homes in my neighbourhood. It made a terrible racket inside, but left no marks on the house. It’s what we did for fun. Bob and I both used to “borrow” the family cars when mom was away and occupied with her divorce, or sleeping during the night. Joy rides. I was driving the car at 12 years old. Could hardly see over the steering wheel. Bob totalled our family’s VW. I was never caught, neither by the police, or more important, my mom. There were many close calls.

18th birthday party for Sandy. Take a look at Bobby’s picture. Says it all.


I think this is the graduation picture, but it has been “touched up” by the photo studio. I think when I graduated from the same HS 7 years later, they used the same photographer and my picture also does not look entirely natural.

Graduation and Prom

Finishing high school, graduation, with boy friend Jimmy going to the prom. Sandy used to take me with her to visit Jimmy, or Jimmy would be at the house when my mother was working. Sandy always had to take care of me and Scott. They smoked, and I would sit at the table with them, and say: “Give me one.” So Jimmy did, and forever after that they tell the story of me turning green when I tried to smoke. I also used to sit in the back seat of the car, while they were making out in the front seat. Educational experience.